British Endurance ChampionshipGrand-AmSportscars

Sunoco Daytona Challenge Update No.1

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Ivan Bellarosa dominated the the SPEED EuroSeries weekend taking maximum points for the Sunoco Challenge (Photo Credit: SPEED EuroSeries)

Ivan Bellarosa dominated the the SPEED EuroSeries weekend taking maximum points for the Sunoco Challenge (Photo Credit: SPEED EuroSeries)

Italian SPEED EuroSeries driver Ivan Bellarosa jumped into the lead of the 2013 Sunoco Rolex 24 at Daytona Challengewith a dominant display in the series' first two races of the year at Paul Ricard.

Driving for the Avelon Formula squad Bellarosa set pole position for both the races by over a second, the British pairing of Darren Burke and Darren Williams starting second behind their solo rival.

Burke led briefly on the opening lap of the 90 minute race by Bellarosa fought back ahead in his Wolf chassis and pulled out a modest lead over Burke – just five seconds at its largest extent as they pulled away from another all British pair in Chrissy Palmer and Sarah Reader.  

Bellarosa sacrificed the lead, making his compulsory pitstop before the chasing Burke, but emerged well in the lead once Burke had swapped places with Williams. Such was the Italian's lead in the second half of the race that a drive through penalty did little to dent his advantage, eventually winning by nearly 90 seconds ahead of the two British combinations in their Juno chassis.

In the second race of the weekend – supporting the first round of the Le Mans Series – Bellarosa again had to survive incident and accident, making contact with another car while trying to put it a lap down, losing ten seconds of his lead to Burke and Williams, who were the closest pursuants again.

However, a succession of laps under the two-minute barrier kept Burke at a safe distance en route to Bellarosa securing a second win of the day. They, together with the two poles and two fastest laps leave him atop the Sunoco Challenge standings with a maximum 140 points.

After two second place finished Burke and Williams are in joint second, with four more EuroSeries drivers tied on 60 points.

The final three places in the top ten are taken by Javier Morcillo, Manuel Cintrano and Paul White, overall winners of the first British Endurance Championship (BEC) race of the season. Though the trio won their class in the Neil Garner Motorsport Mosler due to the small Britcar field they could only collect 40% points from the three hour race at Silverstone.

  Driver Team Series Points
1 Ivan Bellarosa Avelon SPEED EuroSeries 140.00
2 Darren Burke Team Excool SPEED EuroSeries 85.00
3 Duncan Williams Team Excool SPEED EuroSeries 85.00
4 Rowland Kinch G-Cat Racing SPEED EuroSeries 60.00
5 Gugliemio Belotti Avelon Formula SPEED EuroSeries 60.00
6 Anthony Gandon Team TFT SPEED EuroSeries 60.00
7 Jens Peterson Team TFT SPEED EuroSeries 60.00
8 Javier Morcillo Neil Garner Motorsport Britcar Class 1 48.00
9 Manuel Cintrano Neil Garner Motorsport Britcar Class 1 40.00
10 Paul White Neil Garner Motorsport Britcar Class 1 40.00

Sunoco Rolex 24 at Daytona Challenge (Photo Credit: Sunoco)

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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